August 17, 2009 CSL TFC Academy review of weekend games (from media release)

Mixed weekend for TFC Academy
Reds youngsters bounce back with win in second match
08/17/2009 1:08 PM

Allando Matheson scored a hat-trick for TFC Academy. (Toronto FC)TFC Academy played two matches in the space of 24 hours in the Canadian Soccer League over the weekend. The young Reds started with a 6-3 defeat in London before securing a last minute 3-2 win against Italia Shooters on Saturday.

The weekend started badly with TFC going behind after just six minutes against London City when Brian Abidakun hit a right footed shot into the top corner of the goal. London City increased their advantage just seven minutes later when a long throw troubled the back line.

TFC hit back quickly as Josh Janniere beat the fullback to the byline and hit a delightful cross which Allando Matheson attacked superbly at the near post and headed into the goal, but London's two goal advantage was restored in the 18th minute when Kuba Waszkowski struck from 25 yards out.

TFC responded again with Jonathan Lao releasing Matheson on a breakaway and the striker scored his second of the night, but as a crazy first half continued, London City went on to increase their advantage by scoring three more goals before the break. Matheson completed a hat-trick to close the defecit to 6-3 at the interval.

TFC dominated the second half and showed good energy to create several chances but could not reduce London's lead. "It was a very poor performance," said TFC Academy Senior Team Head Coach Jason Bent. "We made five clear defensive mistakes which lead directly to goals. At any level of football if you make school boy mistakes like we did tonight it makes winning football matches extremely difficult. When you score three goals away from home, or any match for that matter, you should not lose."

TFC Academy resumed league play less than 24 hours later when they faced Italia Shooters. TFC had an early numerical advantage when Italia goalkeeper Camilo Benzi was sent off for taking down Allando Matheson on a breakaway 35 yards from goal. Despite being down a man, the Shooters took the lead in the 35th minute when in-form striker Kaiden Lecky outpaced the back four and chipped Jarrett Humphreys from 15 yards out for the 1-0 lead. TFC had several chances in the first half and hit the woodwork on two occasions.

Shortly after the interval, substitute Jordan Webb increased the Shooters' lead when he cut in from the left flank and shot past the helpless Humphreys in goal. Humpheys made a couple of crucial saves to keep the score at 2-0 in favour of the visitors which proved to be a platform for the events which ensued.

After the break, TFC Academy hit back through Justin Maheu when he cut in from the left flank and struck a delightful shot with the outside of his foot into the top corner. TFC continued to put the opposition under pressure and substitute Daniel Calabretta leveled the score at 2-2 when he clinically slotted past the goalkeeper from a one-on-one situation. With time running out, the comeback was complete when Justin Maheu was taken down in the box by the substitute goalkeeper and the referee pointed to the spot. Maheu scored the resulting penalty kick in the 90th minute for the 3-2 victory.

"Before the match we spoke about fixing our mental approach," said Bent. "Forget tactics and everything else, our players needed to start the match with more intensity, desire and eliminate the individual mistakes that plagued us the night before. In saying all that, for the first 50 minutes of being a man up we did not play with enough tempo in order to wear out the opposition and allowed them to comfortably defend their lead. Once we scored our first goal the players then had renewed energy and spirit to fight to the end and deservedly won the match. I really feel some of our players grew up over the past 24 hours with the adversity they encountered," explained the coach.

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